'Mobile morgue' used for first time in Oregon to help gives families closure

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LINN COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - At least 10 people have died in Oregon as wildfires burn in areas across the state, and for the first time ever, the state has sent out mobile morgue.

The mobile morgue is a state medical examiner's office on wheels and comes as people are still missing. The morgue, the brainchild of the Clackamas County medical examiner several years ago, was brought in on a couple trailers, and is now set up at a state facility in Linn County in an area near where the wildfires have burned.

The morgue is allowing officials to identify victims from the fires quickly to help give families closure. Captain Tim Fox with Oregon State Police said they have already used the mobile morgue to identify some victims. He said a rapid DNA company has brought people in to help them do DNA tests the same day.

"We are setting up a facility tomorrow with the federal government called the VIC, Victim Information Center, which will also be Linn County," Fox said. "Families will be able to go there and be able to give DNA samples so we can compare them against what we have, from fire victims."

Fox says if you have someone missing, you should contact your local police or sheriff's office and put in a missing person's report. That will help them build their database to help identify victims.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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